Even during a weak economy, consumers are shopping online. comScore data reflects the second quarter of 2011 experienced a continuation of double-digit growth trends in online spending; US online retail spending reached $37.5 billion during the second quarter. Furthermore, nearly 10 percent of discretionary consumer spending occurred online during the quarter.

People enjoy shopping online because it is convenient, time saving and cheaper than traditional shopping. However, despite the data, there are still many small business owners who do not accept credit cards online. Why? The reason is simple – they believe they can’t afford the processing services for credit cards. And in most cases, they’re right. Many banks and credit card companies have hefty fees. Some even make it difficult for small business owners to achieve merchant status.

However, small businesses owners should consider merchant service providers such as Total Merchant Services. These companies will grant merchant status or allow you to open a merchant account for a low rate; some will even allow you to open a merchant account free of charge. These same providers offer some of the lowest rates and fee structures in the industry along with free equipment, such as a merchant credit card terminal.

The ability to accept credit cards online is good for your customer and your business. Your clients will appreciate the convenience of being able to use their credit cards to make an immediate purchase online. Wireless credit card processing is especially ideal for customers who do not want to mail a check or payment through the mail before you send their orders.

Accepting credit card payments is also profitable for your business; it will also help to improve your cash flow. This is because online shoppers tend to spend more money per transaction than those who do not use credit cards. Furthermore, businesses receive cash from the transaction faster than when they invoice their clients and allow them to pay at a later day.

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